In another attempt to change his name in a more positive way, this week Florida Man made headlines again as a good Samaritan (okay, if you ignore the story about him snatching that lost golf ball from an alligator’s back).
In a true humanitarian gesture, Mike Esmond of Gulf Stream, Florida paid $ 7,600 in outstanding utility bills for 114 of his neighbors facing deadlines.
It’s not the first time.
Last year, Esmond launched her generous holiday tradition by handing out $ 4,600 to ensure community members in need don’t go without basic services during the holiday season.
“This year is probably more meaningful to me than last year with the pandemic and all the jobless people having to stay home,” the 74-year-old said in a CNN interview reported by People.
“Hurricane Sally hit us pretty well and hurt a lot of people. We still have a lot of blue roofs here, where they are covered with tarps. “
As the owner of Gulf Breeze Pools and Spas, Esmond admits that he found himself in a very different financial position in late 2020 than the less fortunate. While the COVID-19 shutdown left many people in trouble, it also meant that they would stay home, which turned out to be a boon for their business.
“We have had a good year and that is why I want to share what I have with the people who need it,” he said. In lieu of a closure notice, 114 families will receive a Christmas greeting from the city to inform them that they are no longer in the red.
“You can imagine people at this time of year who know they are behind on their bills, when they get this envelope and when they open it, it’s a Christmas card from the city of Gulf Breeze telling them that Gulf Breeze Pools has paid your utility bill and that’s one less stressful thing you have to worry about, “said Esmond CBS.
Since her story made headlines, Esmond has heard from many people volunteering to help her cause, but she thinks it would be better to spend her money closer to home. “Some people called me from California, Chicago, Tampa and said they wanted to send some money,” he explained.
“I said, ‘No, take the money, do what I did. Start this in your own communities. ‘ It’s something that I can see that we could really pass on and make Christmas better for people in the future. “
Way to go, Florida man, that’s what he tells them.
(WATCH the 2019 Christmas interview with ABC’s Mike).
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